I took images that span the spectrum of NFTs. Starting with the piece that I dislike the most is the Elon Musk collectible. There is nothing inherently wrong with collections or archives of cards or books or whatever the collection may be of, but the image is of no interest to tell a story or connect with somebody on a level deeper than a novelty. It is a funny moment in internet history and the piece clearly seems to be just a way to share that reference in a baseball card type of way. The artist does not say anything about Elon or referencing the platform it exists on. I find this weirdly placed against the other 3 images because while the other 3 can exist on somebody’s social media or even an online gallery showing; Elon only makes sense as an NFT baseball card. A gallery of celebrity baseball cards doesn’t provide philosophical or even technical interest beyond the fact that it can only exist as an NFT. The others I have less of an issue with because they use the NFT system as a way to try and make work that they have already sunken practice, time, and overhead into. It is also not lost on me that the majority of the work shown both here and the etherium based platforms are entering the Instagram trend of digital art where there’s a million of the same slick, shiny, highly rendered psychedelic images. While on the other end of the spectrum there are pieces that require no skill at all like a woman eating various fruits in front of a camera. While there are many artists trying to experiment with the in-between etherium based platforms are not interested in placing them front and center.
What I saw on these sites was concerning. Yes, I was able to find meaningful, skillful work that speaks to me such as Night Shift and Still_Life_02. What concerns me is the jarring amount of art that rides the wave of being controversial or trendy and existing only with the new platform because it’s new and flashy and shiny rather than artists who weren’t making money before suddenly given a new opportunity. The big fish are garnering a lot of attention very quickly and many people will enter NFTs and never make their gas fees back. All of this, not even mentioning the ecological side effects is scary.